- A writing desk with a hinged door that provides the writing surface.
A writing desk with a hinged door
An escritoire is a small, portable writing desk with a sloping front door, hinged at the bottom edge, that can be opened downwards to provide a writing surface. It is usually larger than a lap desk. The interior may contain small drawers designed to hold the traditional ink pot, sand container, blotter and writing feathers or pens. This type of antique appeared in the 16th century in Europe and was produced in large quantities in France in the 18th century. Modern reproductions are sometimes made of this compact desk form.